Patients enjoy some Funny times during awareness week


Two drag queens holding cocktails

Drag queen waitresses Joanna (left) and Ella ready to serve cocktails to patients at Clifton Hospital

Hospital patients enjoyed cocktails served by waitresses from ‘Funny Girls’ nightclub in Blackpool as part of a special awareness week.

The glamorous waitresses, Joanna and Ella, poured healthy cocktails at a party for patients at Clifton Hospital as part of national Nutrition and Hydration Week.

Joanna said it was a pleasure to serve the patients: “My grandma has dementia so it’s nice to be able to come in here and help people with similar conditions,” she explained.

“It has been a nice experience. If you’re in hospital it’s good to see something different. It cheers you up a bit.”

Linda Broadbent, manager of Ward 1 at Clifton Hospital, said: “Joanna and Ella have been great – everyone has been very excited.

“It’s something colourful and different for the patients.

“We’ve been working on this for weeks. We thought we’d have a Caribbean theme. Patients with dementia see a lot of things in black and white so a big splash of vivid colour can liven things up.

“Patients have helped to paint the palm trees and staff have come in on their days off to help out.

“To link in with Nutrition and Hydration Week we have used milk and fruit in the cocktails.

“We’ve had finger food for our patients with dementia because they enjoy that.”

Many other events have been taking place during National Nutrition and Hydration Week, which started on Monday, March 14 and ends on Friday, March 18.

Staff at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been organising the events for patients and employees.

Nigel Fort, Associate Director of Facilities for the Trust, volunteered to go in the ‘stocks’ in Blackpool Victoria Hospital’s staff and visitors’ restaurant on Tuesday, March 15.

A woman squirting a large water pistol

Marie Thompson squirts Nigel Fort with a water gun to raise money for Blue Skies Hospitals Fund

Staff raised money for the Trust’s Blue Skies Hospitals Fund by paying to squirt Nigel with a water gun. Marie Thompson, the Trust’s Director of Nursing, was just one of the many who lined up to soak him.

Speech and Language Therapy staff on the hospital’s Stroke Unit made nutritious and tasty fruit cocktails for patients with swallowing difficulties on Tuesday. They are doing the same today (Wednesday) for patients at Clifton Hospital. A tea party is also being held today at Clifton Hospital.

Various information stands have been set up on the mezzanine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital and raffle tickets are being sold in aid of the Blue Skies Hospitals Fund. Prizes include vouchers for Nunzio’s Italian restaurant, Rico’s Italian restaurant, a Pleasure Beach family pass, gym passes, a prize from Merlin Entertainment, meat vouchers, afternoon tea and many more.

Throughout the week hospital executives and directors are visiting their link wards to serve lunches or be part of the worldwide event.

Nutrition and hydration awareness is being promoted the hospital’s restaurant as well as staff and visitor quizzes.

Prizes will be awarded to staff who win competitions including Most Innovative Idea to Support Patient Hydration, Best Nutrition and Hydration Ward Displays, Most Improved and Sustained Malnutrition Universal Screening Tool (Ward/Locality) and Cake Bake Competition– Cupcake; Large Cake; Tray Bake/Biscuits.

A group of women holding cocktail shakers

Speech and Language staff making fruit cocktails on the Stoke Unit at Blackpool Victoria Hospital

Staff members have agreed to donate the cakes they have entered into the competition to be sold to raise money for patient care.

Today and Thursday, Patient Experience volunteers will be visiting random wards to carry out a ‘patient spot audit’ on the subject of nutrition and hydration. This information will be sent to ward managers and matrons and will also be put on display on the mezzanine as part of the event.

Today each ward will have cakes delivered at approximately 2pm from the catering department as part of a worldwide afternoon tea event. Organisers have devised a crossword and word search for patients to complete with their visitors or staff. These have been emailed out to all ward managers and will also be handed out on the mezzanine during the week.

The Cake Bake competition will be judged by one of the Trust directors at 11am on Friday, March 18, on the mezzanine at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The Trust hopes this event will increase awareness of the importance of good nutrition and hydration and help everyone to lead a healthier life.

Blackpool Salvation Army has made up food hampers, each containing meals for three days.

A patient with two drag queens and a nurse

Sarah Lineker, a patient at Clifton Hospital, with Joanna and Ella from Funny Girls and staff nurse Felicity Broadhurst from Ward 1.

The hampers will be given to patients in need who are being discharged from hospital this week.

The Patient Experience Team will be on the mezzanine on Thursday collecting food donations of tinned soup, cuppa soups, baked beans, tinned fruit, bags of dry pasta and rice, tinned tomatoes, instant mash potato, tinned meat, tinned sponge puddings, small cereal boxes, teabags, coffee sachets and UHT milk to go in the hampers.


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